District Learning Support Services, Burnaby Schools

Author: singt (Page 1 of 2)

Today is Developmental Language Disorder Awareness Day

Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that is very common, affecting approximately 7% of the population. The cause of DLD is generally unknown. A person with DLD can have difficulty talking and understanding spoken language. Spoken words and sentences can be challenging for people with DLD. DLD may also impact behaviour, attention, academic achievement, and peer relationships.

The Burnaby Speech Language Pathologists work with many students with DLD. We also support families and school teams.

For more information, please check out these resources:

Raising Awareness about DLD video

https://radld.org/

https://dldandme.org/

Struggling with the back-to-school hustle-bustle at home?

For many students and families, transitioning back to school can be challenging. Part of the challenge is that all children are developing their executive function skills. These are the mental processes that allow us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. Like an orchestra conductor or an air traffic controller, to do all this the brain builds the ability to filter distractions, prioritize tasks, set and achieve goals, and control impulses (self-regulation). While executive functions are emerging for all children, they can be more challenging for students with learning and behavioral disabilities. Executive functions have a major impact on a child’s academic and social participation and success. 

There are many ways to help your child at home with developing their executive functions and independence. Try using visual reminders of the morning, after school and bed time routines. This can include something as simple as a written or drawn-out schedule on their bedroom door, the fridge or the bathroom.   

  • Keep the schedule somewhere everyone can see it. 
  • Look at it together often and celebrate when tasks get done – check it off! 
  • Have your child be part of making the schedule – they draw some of it; include favorite things; name it together e.g., “Kira’s Awesome Mornings”
  • Try using a white board; window markers; or something basic like paper and felts. There are many schedules online or try making one on the computer with images your child chooses with you.  It can be very simple.  The power is that it is visual. 

For more tips, check out our new executive functions page!

Welcome back!

This will be a back to school year like no other! We will be smiling behind our masks and are excited to see everyone again.  Wearing masks helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community but it can sometimes make communication more difficult, especially for people who have trouble speaking or hearing.

Communication challenges:

• Masks make voices muffled and harder to hear.
• Masks cover facial expression and prevent speech reading. Without visual cues, people with hearing loss or communication difficulties may have even more trouble understanding what they are hearing.
• People with communication difficulties may not be able to make themselves understood through a mask.

Communication strategies when wearing a mask:

• Move to a quiet place, or reduce competing noises in the environment.
• For those who wear hearing aids, ensure they are working well.
• Face your communication partner and make sure nothing is blocking your view.
• Get the attention of your communication partner before you start talking.
• Ask what you can do to make communication easier for both of you.
• Speak a little more slowly and slightly louder than usual, but do not shout or exaggerate your speech.
• Use your eyes, hands and body movements to add more information to your speech.
• Use a voice amplifier.
• Ask if your communication partner understood you. If not, repeat, rephrase or write it down.
• Use speech-to-text apps to transcribe speech in real time.

Please see General Public Masks Info Sheet by Speech-Language and Audiology Canada for further information.

Have a safe and healthy school year!

SUMMER BINGO!

Many parents are looking for ideas to to keep their kids busy over the summer at this time of year.  Here are some fun activities to try that target speech and language goals (you can also print out Summer Speech & Language Bingo)

For more ideas, check out our handouts on how to support your child’s language during everyday activities.  See our articulation section for ideas and materials to practice specific speech sounds.  Dr. Henry reminds us to “Be kind, be calm and be safe.” As the unique school year ends, also try to have a FUN summer!

What Can I Do with My Child All Day?

What Can I Do with My Child All Day? Strategies for Supporting Young Children

ACT Autism Community Training is hosting a free presentation by a behaviour analyst/special educator and a speech-language pathologist to provide a framework for thinking about how to provide support. This will include resources for engaging children in activities that can enhance informal learning and support social-communication development. This presentation is intended for parents and early intervention service providers.  No registration is required. The presentation is at 3pm on April 30. A recording will also be available after the live stream ends.
Please click here for more information

Supporting your child’s language skills when reading and exploring books

Your child’s teacher and school librarian always encourage reading books at home.  Keep reading below or click here to download a handout on supporting your child’s language when reading and exploring books and handouts for other activities.

WHY is reading and exploring books so important for promoting language and literacy development? 

  •  Children need to hear many words often.  Reading to your child often exposes them to more words and builds his/her vocabulary. 
  • Children learn words when they are interested.  Books motivate children to communicate and, when parents respond to what the child is interested in, it helps the child learn new words. 
  • Reading builds vocabulary and meaning.  Children learn what words mean when parents read with them and explain what new words mean while pointing to the pictures. 
  • Vocabulary and grammar are learned together.  Children need to hear new words in grammatically correct sentences in order to learn language efficiently. Reading books with your child exposes them to new words used in grammatical sentences.
  • Positive, extended conversations support cognitive and social development.  When parents read with their child this promotes a positive interaction and shared conversation. 

Continue reading

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